Items to know for Essentials R2
A couple of things to keep in mind at the present time – which are not well documented (IMHO).
The first thing is that the Essentials wizards will only work when there is one and only one DC. All those thoughts and plans of a multiple DC SMB deployment using either Essentials or Essentials role? Yeah no can do right now. Bugged. Have no idea of a ETA for a fix.
The second thing is that these wizards also can only be run when the Essentials IS the domain controller. So If you had the plan to make the Essentials role a member server and still offer up a RWA like experience… well you can.. .but just as long as the one and only DC is also that 2012 R2 server with the Essentials role – or it’s an Essentials sku. (see http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/ed131f6a-9f81-41af-8e85-ef73ed3321cd/essentials-experience-on-member-server-office-365-integration?forum=winserveressentials for a bit more discussion)
If you add an Essentials server to an existing domain and it’s in the member server role only – it will only backup clients.